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Idaho State Police to Partner with Law Enforcement and Safety Agencies Through Labor Day Weekend to Target Impaired Drivers

LEWISTON – Many Americans consider the Labor Day holiday weekend the unofficial end of summer. No matter how you celebrate, make sure safe driving is in the plan.

Now through Labor Day weekend, the Idaho State Police (ISP) and local partners will have extra patrols dedicated to enforcing traffic laws and arresting impaired drivers. Law enforcement will work together to protect the lives of the people and families in communities throughout Idaho to prevent impaired driving and enforce traffic safety laws.

“One of the most difficult parts of our job is responding to a DUI collision where someone’s life is altered forever,” says ISP District 3 Trooper Jordan Plascencia. “To see the deadly consequences of impaired driving is heartbreaking, and we want to educate the public about the danger. We are dedicated to enforcing laws that protect the public from those posing a danger to others.”

According to NHTSA data, 11,654 people died in alcohol-impaired driving traffic deaths in 2020, which is a 14% increase from 2019. Every day, about 32 people in the United States die in drunk-driving collisions – that’s one person every 45 minutes. Statewide, Idaho Transportation Department data reveals that impaired driving caused 1,729 crashes last year, 108 deaths, and impaired driving fatalities were almost 40% of all traffic fatalities. Every death and injury is preventable.

“Impaired driving, from alcohol or drugs, is illegal in every state. Not only do you put your safety at risk, but you are a danger to others,” said Headquarters Patrol Captain Matthew Smith. “These types of collisions are completely preventable. Don’t be the reason a trooper delivers tragic news to another Idaho family. Plan ahead, use good judgment, and never get behind the wheel if impaired.”

ISP joins with law enforcement agencies around the state and the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) Office of Highway Safety in this final push to safely end the summer travel season. While ISP troopers patrol daily, this high-visibility education and enforcement campaign begins August 17th and closes out the summer driving season known as the “100 Deadliest Days”. Between Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends, Idaho typically sees an increase in fatality and injury crashes. ITD Office of Highway Safety funding patrols through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration grants.

It is never okay to drink and drive. Being responsible is simple: If you drink, don’t drive!
-Plan for a safe ride home before you start the party.
-Choose a non-drinking designated driver.
-If someone has been drinking, do not let them drive. Take their keys and save a life.
-If you’re hosting, ensure all guests leave with a sober driver.
-Always wear your seat belt – it’s your best defense against impaired drivers.
-If you drink, do not drive for any reason. Call a taxi, a ride-share service, or a sober friend.

If you see an impaired driver on the road, don’t hesitate to dial 911 or *ISP (*477).